February 6, 2019 By Tom Crane 3 min read

Today’s enterprises are struggling to keep pace in a business world increasingly populated by nimble startups. These enterprises once relied on their IT cores as a source of competitive advantage. Now, those same IT cores increasingly make it difficult for them to adapt to a “New Normal” defined by speed, efficiency and resilience:

Speed: Traditional release cycles took months. With the help of agile development methods, today’s leading businesses are able to deploy every few seconds, allowing them to introduce new features and capabilities on a continuous basis.

Efficiency: Through greater business integration, automation and the adoption of agile principles, organizations can become more efficient. Prioritizing business requirements and driving out unnecessary scope and feature bloat are key.

Resilience: With multiple levels of proactive self-healing mechanisms, today’s organizations are making zero-downtime systems a reality. To adapt, organizations must replace or modernize their applications, and that is easier said than done. Gartner predicts that every dollar invested in digital business innovation through to the end of 2020 will require enterprises to spend at least three times that to continuously modernize the legacy application portfolio. Organizations need a new approach to application development and maintenance (ADM) to enable digital transformation, make good use of their modernization spend, and keep up with a changing marketplace. This means a multispeed approach to application modernization, where the organization pursues three different “performance zones” simultaneously

  • Optimize the core
  • Unlock legacy
  • Unleash digital

A modernized approach to business process optimization (BPO) can play a key role in helping an organization become a Cognitive Enterprise. We’re seeing a shift away from traditional BPO—which is primarily about doing the same tasks more efficiently—toward automated, cognitive BPO, which can be a catalyst for innovation and digital transformation.

Optimize the core

By continuing to use traditional ADM techniques, but refining them with modern tools and approaches, organizations can optimize their existing IT cores to help cut costs and maximize efficiency. This could include the use of automation and artificial intelligence to help ensure quality, as well as DevOps practices to help shorten deployment cycles.

Optimizing the core is a good fit for systems that are extremely difficult to change, such as complex enterprise continuity systems. These applications are typically important, but not a source of differentiation for the business.

Unlock legacy

Using a hybrid model, organizations can unlock new value by deploying modern features and capabilities around their existing applications and enterprise data. This puts them in a position to innovate and keep up with fast-moving competitors, even in situations where they’re not ready to jump into a full-blown cloud transformation. One example of this is using new technologies such as containers, API integration and microservices to enable easier access to legacy data and processes.

Unlocking legacy is a good tactic for systems that could benefit from improved speed, flexibility and user experience, but are too complex or costly to fully move to the cloud yet.

Unleash data

By capitalizing on cloud-native, born-digital technologies, organizations can help deliver added speed and growth, create improved customer experiences and develop speed-optimized innovation capabilities.

In the unleash digital performance zone, full-stack, product-centered teams are the norm. Development processes are centered around a minimum viable product (MVP), short feedback loops, and test-driven development. It’s a good fit for projects that are highly focused on driving rapid innovation, experimenting with new technologies or leveraging IT services that are unique to the cloud.

The IBM approach

At IBM, we understand the challenges that enterprises are facing when it comes to next-gen ADM. We work with our customers to develop an ADM strategy that can help them target all three performance zones simultaneously, then shifts to focus more on unleashing digital capabilities as time goes on. We believe this is the best way for our customers to help them grow revenue, increase speed to market, overcome talent deficits and meet their financial priorities.

Schedule a consultation

If you want to talk to us about which performance zone your business might be in, schedule a consultation.

Learn more

Learn more about how application services from IBM are helping organizations modernize their IT cores for success going into the future.

Was this article helpful?

More from Cloud

The recipe for RAG: How cloud services enable generative AI outcomes across industries

4 min read - According to research from IBM®, about 42 percent of enterprises surveyed have AI in use in their businesses. Of all the use cases, many of us are now extremely familiar with natural language processing AI chatbots that can answer our questions and assist with tasks such as composing emails or essays. Yet even with widespread adoption of these chatbots, enterprises are still occasionally experiencing some challenges. For example, these chatbots can produce inconsistent results as they’re pulling from large data…

Rethink IT spend in the age of generative AI

3 min read - It’s the burning question for today’s CIOs: what do you spend your IT budget on? Cloud costs were already a challenge—in a recent survey, 24% estimated they wasted software spend. The explosion of generative AI makes it critical for organizations to consider frameworks like FinOps and technology business management (TBM) for visibility and accountability of all tech spend. But what does this all mean in practice? How can organizations shift to a more disciplined, value-driven approach to IT spend? What…

Announcing Dizzion Desktop as a Service for IBM Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

2 min read - For more than four years, Dizzion and IBM Cloud® have strategically partnered to deliver incredible digital workspace experiences to our clients. We are excited to announce that Dizzion has expanded their Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering to now support IBM Cloud Virtual Private Cloud (VPC). Powered by Frame, Dizzion’s cloud-native DaaS platform, clients can now deploy their Windows and Linux® virtual desktops and applications on IBM Cloud VPC and enjoy fast, dynamic, infrastructure provisioning and a true consumption-based model.…

IBM Newsletters

Get our newsletters and topic updates that deliver the latest thought leadership and insights on emerging trends.
Subscribe now More newsletters